Hello everyone and thank you for joining me for the 2020 Virtual Graduate Professional School Fair panel “From Admissions to Career Opportunities in Clinical Psychology.” I am Dr Natasha Lugo Escobar and I’m the Director of the High School Scientific Training and Enrichment Program, or Hi-STEP 2.0, in the Office of Intramural Training and Education at the National Institutes of Health, and I’m here joined today by Dr. Laura Kwako, Health Sciences Administrator at the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and a credentialed Clinician-Psychologist in the Clinical Research Center at the National Institutes of Health We also have Dr. Andres De Los Reyes, Professor of Psychology, Director of the Comprehensive Assessment and Intervention Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park and Dr. Valeria Martinez-Kaigi, the Health Psychologist and an Associate Research Scientist in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine So I want to thank all of you for joining us today to share a little bit about yourself, about career opportunities in the field, and just to give some insights into the application process as well for students who are interested in clinical psychology programs So to get started, why don’t each of you give me a short 2 or 3 minute introduction on what you’re doing right now, your current position and role, and I’m gonna start with Laura Thank You Natasha for the introduction, so I’m Laura Kwako, I’m a Health Scientist Administrator and Program Officer in the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research, NIAAA, and before that, I was a clinical research psychologist with an intramural program and then postdoctoral fellow So I took a sort of research and clinical path to get here, but what I do now is scientific program administration. So that means that I am responsible for a portfolio of research grants that are funded by the NIH I am responsible for meeting and answering with grantees and potential grantees sort of at all stages of the process of when they’re considering submitting a grant application to the NIH I’m available to answer questions and provide feedback to them through the review process, and then once grants are funded, it’s my responsibility to work with my grantees to make sure that their questions are answered, to keep an eye on their research progress and also, importantly, to make sure that we’re a good steward of federal funding. So you know, all NIH grants are funded by the federal government They can be quite large and we want to make sure that our money is being spent wisely. So it’s really a balance of working with scientists, but then also sort of an administrative capacity around research funding Another part of what I do and which is a lot of fun is help write funding opportunity announcements that could be related mostly to alcohol health services topics but others as well, and in this time, we’re doing a lot of funding opportunities related to the Covid-19 pandemic So I help identify major scientific questions in the field, gaps in the research, and then draft these and help have them submitted so that scientists can then apply to these funding opportunities. So it’s a really interesting diverse role. I’ve been in it for about a year, but it’s a lot of fun for me as a clinical psychologist to use my knowledge in this capacity to help others Interesting, thank you for sharing that. Andy? So I’ve been at the University of Maryland College Park for about 12 years I run a laboratory that’s tasked with improving our understanding of child and adolescent mental health with a particular emphasis on assessing and understanding social anxiety in adolescents and their family environments because many aspects of their family environments might pose risks for not only developing anxiety, but maintaining it over time I’m embedded in a psychology department, so my salary is drawn from work in a variety of different kinds of spheres. So I do research but I also teach, and most of my my teaching focus is on introductory courses in clinical psychology that I delivered to juniors and seniors on campus, and then at the graduate level I teach courses in assessment because most of my expertise is drawn from that and

among those grad courses, they’re all focused on the students enrolled in our doctoral program And then faculty in our department also dedicate a considerable amount of time service Service to the day-to-day operations of the department itself, of the campus, of the college that we’re embedded in And then also external, we have natural partners outside of the university, so partners in philanthropy, in government, in advocacy, and so a lot of us spend a considerable amount of time engaging in service roles outside. So in much of my outside work I added a journal, The Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, I’ve been the editor there since 2017 and as part of that work, I do a considerable amount of professional development work focused on trying to give advice to undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, early career faculty on a host of different aspects of scientific work, including submitting applications to some of Laura’s funny announcements and publishing, working in the peer review process, job interviewing, things like that, so all the different parts of what people call the hidden curriculum, the kind of things that grad students don’t tend to take classes in but still need advice in order to move on to the next chapter of their careers following their training Thank you. That’s awesome Valeria? Hi Natasha, thank you for having me. So I am a Clinical Health Psychologist My work focuses on working on interdisciplinary teams conducting clinical trials aimed at identifying biomarkers related to state dependent treatment response, for example I provide psychological, neuropsychological diagnostic assessments and right now I’m at the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and I’m housed at the Yale Stress Center and so, here at the Yale Stress Center, I conduct behavioral interventions within clinical trials aimed at developing prevention and treatment approaches that address harmful impacts of stress on psychological and physical health Within the center, I basically have provision of clinical and preventative services for clinical research at the center. I track clinical outcomes. I supervise research staff, training them on implementing the different research assessments, conduct clinical interviews, provide psychotherapy for patients enrolled in trials, prepare manuscripts. So definitely wear a lot of hats in my role at the Yale Stress Center I also am very involved within the American Psychological Association, so within the Society for Health Psychology, I’m the editor of the Health Psychologist, which is an online publication where we communicate on what psychologists do, what their role is and how we work within the interdisciplinary teams and using the biopsychosocial model of medicine to practice Thank you, so interesting hearing all your jobs and current roles So let’s say for someone who is not exactly sure what a career in clinical psychology entails, and you all have, right, different roles how would you describe what it is, very shortly, and along those lines, why did you become interested in this field and doing what you’re doing now? So I had a weird track moving into in clinical psychology. All throughout my childhood and up until my third year in college I wanted to be a lawyer so my aunt tells me I was pre-law since I was 4. And then I got to the summer before my senior year, I took an internship at an office that was tasked with helping people submit restraining orders in the local courthouse in downtown, Miami, and as part of that work I shadowed prosecutors who were tasked with various kinds of cases in the Criminal Division, and I, you know, it just didn’t take long from observing those experiences to realize this is probably not the the line of working that I should dedicate my life to But what I did notice when I was helping people with this particularly stressful part of their lives I kept on thinking to myself,

they must be really stressed out, you know, having to go to the government to petition for protection I wish I knew what I could say or do to help them, and since my mind kept on going there, I kept on saying myself maybe psychology is something I should look into, and then it kind of flowed, it kind of flowed from there At first I thought, I think the way a lot of clinical psychologists think You know, people want to go into that program, get my PhD, hang a shingle, start a practice And then I saw what my adviser in undergrad did, Wendy Silverman, who is now at Yale, but at the time was at Florida International University and she got paid to think all day. Where do I sign up for that? That’s the part that I enjoy about the job the most You know, whether you’re tasked with doing work in the grant funding space or advocacy space or policy space or research space or education or pedagogical space, you’re just getting paid to think. It’s just a question of where you’re allocating your thoughts Thank you. Yeah, I had a similar, I think, path where I spent my undergrad, I thought I wanted to be a sports broadcaster actually, so I pursued communication and journalism and still retained that major and just added psychology It was just by chance that my work-study was in the Department of Psychiatry, and I was tasked with photocopying journal articles for the psychiatrist, and after hundreds of copies I started to read these articles and just became super fascinated and started to take more neuroscience coursework and added on another major and then found myself a scholar within the sciences and was accepted into a national honors program with the National Institutes of Health. And so, which brought me to do summer research at NIH, and that’s what really just started my fascination with research and working in behavioral medicine and you know, so I think really being open to what you like to do and then what really becomes your passion and willing to kind of hone in on that niche I also didn’t start out as a psychology major I was in an interdisciplinary program that included some coursework in psychology but also education and cognitive science and development and did educational research after graduate school and thought that’s what I wanted to do, and a lot of the work I was doing at the time was interviewing teachers and students and I sort of realized that I enjoyed doing that and sort of really enjoyed that role of listening to them My mother is a psychiatric social worker, and so I knew a bit about sort of the field generally But I feel very fortunate that when I thought about clinical psychology as a discipline, it ended up working out, and I was lucky in many ways to get in, I think, and lucky that it was such a good fit But it’s a really wonderfully diverse field in many ways in terms of the coursework that’s offered but also the opportunities that are offered, and there are just so many different things that clinical psychologists can do, certainly that I’ve done with my career I’ve worked, I did an internship in a college counseling center and then I worked at a forensic state psychiatric hospital, which was very different. I’ve done research at the NIH and seen patients there and now in more of a scientific administration role. So, I think there’s just so many different things that people can do with with a career but it’s really for many of us, and for me, driven by a passion to help people, and I think that’s what really stands out Awesome, it’s really interesting how, you know, your previous path kind of drive you into what you’re doing right now and sometimes it’s like serendipity right? You don’t even, like think about it So what in your experience what would you say are some types of experiences or training that you need to have to be able to do the job that you’re doing and what would you say are the most valuable skills in this field to be successful? I think it probably depends a lot on what you’re doing. I mean, as you’ve heard, all of us are doing very different things, and then there are clinical psychologists who are primarily focused on clinical practice, and I think to some extent those skills will vary, but I think they’re all unified by being a good listener, being thoughtful, being open-minded, really being dedicated to

research and science, but also clinical work and also a desire to help individuals who are suffering That’s advice that I’ve given research assistants over the years is that individuals interested in clinical psychology should really have a passion for both, both research and then the clinical side as well Yeah I definitely agree with Laura. You know, our clinical work informs our research, right? It helps us to think critically, to write the grants that are funded by NIH. What are our patients needing? That’s where our curiosity needs to lie I did several internships at NIH. One of them during my master’s degree was at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and I worked with a neurologist there who’s pretty famous in his field, Dr Hallett who does movement disorder work and you know, he would do the chart scrub and he would know what the patient was coming in for, but he would sit down with the patient and he would look him right in the eye and he would say, What can I help you with? What’s bothering you? What do you need? Versus reading the chart, already having in your mind well, this person is gonna need this I need to help them with this but that might not be what they need And so, really listening like Laura said to, you know, what they need and letting some of the limitations of knowledge that we have in our clinical work inform our research to further that knowledge I think both Laura and Valaria touch on a couple of really important things, you know, one of them is that it’s less really about the kinds of experiences you’ll list on your CV and more about the tools and the processes that you’ll become experienced within those different kinds of places So, active listening, being able to synthesize information, you know, take different pieces from different places and finding the force for all those different kinds of trees Critical thinking, so getting a lot of practice Having an idea and then testing whether or not it’s an accurate reflection of the world or whatever you’re trying to understand All those different kinds of skills and experiences you can get in a lot of different places But, you know, one place you might consider thinking about in terms of the strategy for figuring out which specific kinds of experiences you might get is by looking at current grad students that are embedded in the kinds of programs you might want to apply to, taking a look at their CVs and asking the question, what were they doing beforehand? That doesn’t necessarily mean you do exactly what they do, but it might give you an indication of the kinds of things that tend to be embedded in the track records of the students that are embedded in the programs that you aspire to be admitted to That’s great advice Thank you for sharing that. So you all have different roles, like research, teaching, funding So, besides what you’re doing right now what are some other career opportunities or paths that someone who is thinking of working in this field can pursue if, you know, you can think about a couple of others? I know Laura you say like, there’s a lot of interesting things that you can do, right? So, what are some of those things that they can pursue? So there are lots of different types of programs around the nation that could prepare you for graduate school. It all kind of depends on where you think you need some extra preparation So, it might be improving your grade. So you apply for a postbac at Georgetown and retake some courses It could be getting more research experience So you apply to a postbac program at NIH or a post graduate associate program at Yale and you get the things that you need. You might have graduated college a little early and you might just need some more life experience and you just want to kind of, you know, explore what you want to do You know, you could pursue a master’s degree in kind of an all-encompassing field. That’s what I did I pursued a master’s degree in psychomotor kinesiology and physiology and also studied nutrition science, and I knew that was kind of a plethora of things and I could go into an MD or PhD and I was just trying to figure out, you know, what exactly do I want to do? So really exploring where

you want to improve, where you want to explore, where you want to refine, and then seek out those opportunities that will help you One of the things I love the most about this discipline is you have a lot of colleagues who take very different paths and you wind up seeing all the different ways in which a degree in psychology, and this goes for clinical psychology, but also other sub-disciplines as well, can work for you in a variety different ways. So I have colleagues of mine who have made careers in the policy arena so that can be embedded in the government, could be embedded in nonprofits for which their core mission is to advocate on specific kinds of topics or things like that I have colleagues of mine who are in consulting so they took their training in clinical psychology which, you know, might have involved understanding how to work with clients and conduct research and a lot of those different kinds of skills, generalized, be giving people advice in a variety of different kinds of settings, you know, like in the workplace Still other colleagues of mine who spent a sizable chunk of their career spend their time in a lot of the ways that I do now and they transitioned over into the nonprofit sector, and depending on the kind of philanthropic organization you’re embedded in, you’re doing some of the same things you might done before but many different things as well, they’re just applied in different kinds of circumstances They’re really diverse. It’s a really diverse discipline, and it opened, if you play your cards right, you can open doors in a lot of places you might not have always expected to open Yeah, I would agree I mean, there’s just so many different paths to this field and also paths within this field as Valeria and Andres have said. Certainly the working primarily in the clinical domain with patients is another very common option, and that has so many different varieties, so many different settings, so you can work in an inpatient setting, community and mental health, private practice, work sort of embedded within a larger health maintenance organization alongside primary care providers, you can work with children, adults, adolescents, families, older individuals You could provide psychotherapy in different formats, conduct assessment, again in different settings, work in forensic settings, so primarily within the legal system You know many patients need representation and assistance from psychologists there So there’s just so many different things that you can do, and I think one of the things that I really appreciate as well is that flexibility even once you become a psychologist There are different ways to make a career change, and there are ways to sort of scale up or down in one’s career as you might progress That’s not to say that doesn’t require a lot of additional work certainly, you know, but many psychologists, for example, I know who are in government, whether it’s in a scientific administration role or policy or research, they may have a small clinical private practice on the side And that way they’re able to kind of maintain their clinical skills and still engage in other work, or they may write books or you know keep their hand in research in a different way. So there are a lot of different ways to apply the skills and the knowledge that you learn and to keep those things fresh throughout your career Thank you. That’s great to know that they have a lot of options within this discipline, it’s just a matter of finding programs that expose you, prepare you for that and talking to people like you, like have very deep, like different career paths to kind of figure out what they want to do. So thank you for sharing that and for, you know, just talking a little bit about your careers and opportunities in these disciplines. So now changing gears a little bit to the application process What would you say just, you know, in general what makes a competitive candidate who is applying for psychology programs? What are those things that the admissions committees are looking for? I think that the kind of characteristics that programs look for in applicants varies considerably depending on the kind of program you’re applying to. So the ones that I’m most familiar with are doctoral programs in the discipline where you’re applying with the understanding that that you’re going to be working with a particular person on faculty there for a considerable amount of time So a mentor to those kinds of programs. You know, all, in some respects, in those kinds of programs, you’re not really applying to the program itself. You’re applying to the mentor

or mentors if there’s a culture in that program that encourages people to work with more than one person You know, in those kinds of circumstances it’s important to get a sense of where you might fit in with that mentor’s environment, that learning environment Some mentors really take student that appear pretty clear that they want to study things that look very similar to what the mentor wants to study. Other mentors, particularly those who are later on in their career, are quite open to taking students who are interested in all kinds of things In some respects you can think of them almost like galaxies unto themselves, these mentors, and each galaxy varies considerably as to where they allow their student’s work to reside But most broadly, I would say regardless of the different kinds of programs that you’re considering applying to, thinking about how you can take all of your experiences, all the different things you have on your record and pulling apart the core elements of that, synthesizing the information. Essentially what you’re doing in that application is you’re telling the story of you What led you to the point where you think it’s a good idea to spend six years or seven years or eight years of your time, you know, in doctoral training? And that’s not just listing your CV. That’s trying to figure out where the core elements are, to sort of give people an idea about why you’re doing what you’re doing now Yeah, and I think to piggyback off of that is, you know, it is a good five, six, even seven years sometimes that people spend in a graduate program And it is competitive right? It’s more competitive in med school just because of the numbers, right? Med schools take 100 students per year and PhD classes are five, you know, so it’s just by numbers, it’s just more competitive But really finding what’s going to work for you as an individual, and think holistically, right? What’s going to work for you in terms of your emotional health or psychological health? Can you be far from your family? Can you not be? What’s really, because it’s a lot. It’s very demanding So what does your personal life look like? Do you really want to focus on research or do you want to mentor that maybe focuses more on clinical work? You know, really look for what’s going to make you happy for those six years. There are many many good clinical psych programs around the nation, and those programs don’t always, are not always associated with the big name schools So really focus on what, you know, not so much on the fancy name of the school but the actual program, what you’re going to get in the program, and how that’s going to affect the trajectory of your career And I would agree and echo everything that both Andy and Valeria said I mean, there are a lot of variables to consider and you really do need to think holistically about what’s going to be the best fit for you and with a given program, with the mentor, with the environment of the program, the broader context in which it’s situated, location opportunities for additional training, all kinds of things But I think for applicants too, some of the other things that they may think about in crafting a competitive application are things like having poster presentations, potentially being an author on a publication, and not necessarily a first author but if there’s a way to contribute meaningfully, that’s always, typically always helpful Some sort of clinical interest or experience, understanding the limitations of what individuals that, you know, earlier in their careers can do, but it could potentially be work in crisis hotlines, whether that’s by telephone or video or text, volunteering with children or adults, and obviously that’s challenging right now to do in person but there are a lot of different forms that that can take. That’s often very helpful But I agree too with Andy’s point about really sort of distilling down what’s the essence of what makes you interested in this field and what makes you a strong fit for a given program and potentially with a given mentor. So really being clear about that with yourself so that you can then convey it clearly to the program in your application materials Thank you for sharing all those useful tips and from your experience So you touch a little bit on, you know, application, but in general, what would you say is different, makes a

PhD in clinical psychology different from other PhD programs, and if you can touch a little bit about, you know, maybe concerns a student might have in terms of like requirements for application, in terms of GRE, and then, we talked about, right, that depending on the school that they want to go, they might have to select a mentor first or later So what would you recommend them to do this the best way, to find these mentors and also thinking about schools when they start this process, if you just can comment a little bit on all these things that you think are important for them Well, one of the things to me that really distinguishes the clinical psychology and associated PhD programs is the clinical training component. So while you’re doing coursework and research in the same way that you’re doing any PhD program, there’s also a clinical training aspect, and that may begin in your first or second year that you are closely supervised in individual and group settings. You receive feedback about your interactions with clients. You know, you may be working in settings that are extremely challenging, and it’s really, it really can be a uniquely difficult time personally. It’s often a time of tremendous personal growth as well, but I think this goes back to Valeria’s point about taking care of yourself and really knowing what you will need to thrive in these programs because it’s not easy learning to do clinical work with patients, whether that’s psychotherapy or assessment. And so really knowing that you will need a good deal of support in doing that I think is important and really what distinguishes clinical psychology programs from other disciplines And Natasha, I know you had a lot of other questions about sort of application and what makes a competitive application and GRE scores and how people might find mentors and things like that. I’ll just very briefly, I think it really depends on the program and so I think it’s critically important that whatever programs students are interested in, and there’s a great book called The Insiders Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, that is a really wonderful resource that is one way of helping identify programs. But also networking with professors from undergraduate if you’re in a current research position, reaching out to people whose publications you’re interested in if you have a specific question to them can all be ways to find potential mentors that you’re interested in and also find potential programs that might be a good fit for you Just to piggyback off of that, definitely the clinical highlight is the distinguished factor between, you know, a psychology degree, a doctorate degree in psychology versus clinical psychology, and you wear many many hats so, you know, throughout the day. So in the morning you might go to your course, do your coursework and the afternoon you’re seeing two or three patients in the clinic, and in the late afternoon through the evening you’re conducting research And so, maybe you even taught a class that day. So you’re wearing many hats as a student in clinical psychology, which is really difficult, and at the same time it’s worth it because all of those skills are going to really transfer, and the great thing about a degree in clinical psychology is it’s so versatile and you can go in and out of things throughout your whole career, and Andres and Laura and I already touched on that. They have, you know, colleagues, all of us do different things You mentioned colleagues that do different things, and you can even do different things in different chapters of your career You know, you might spend the first five, ten years doing X, Y, and Z and then think ah, no I don’t want to do that anymore I want to go and work on Capitol Hill or I want to have my own practice or I want to write a book. You know, you can do all of these things I think that’s the great thing about clinical psychology, and because of what Andres does in his field, I’ll let him touch on more of like the GRE application process and that, but in terms of mentorship, I wanted to conduct my dissertation at the National Institutes of Health, and the NIH has a program called the Graduate Partnerships Program, and it’s a unique program that is internationally known where PhD students can apply for this fellowship to conduct their dissertation on campus and kind of go back and forth between their campus and NIH to conduct their research. So with this in mind, I wanted to find a mentor in a program who really was more clinical and didn’t really have a robust lab so that I can go to NIH and conduct my research

And so that was kind of my primary goal when I was looking for a research program The other way students have done it is to find two kind of rock star researchers within their particular research interest field and say hey, do you want to do research with the scientists at NIH and then you kind of are the middleman between these two principal investigators collaborating on a project that becomes your dissertation So that’s a unique way to do things, but I wanted to let you guys know that NIH has this fantastic program where you could really become really well-versed in research and your clinical work. One of the things that I like about clinical psychology, and then this is true of a lot of different disciplines, is how interconnected the work is. And so you have all these different people studying sometimes very similar things and you know, each of them are producing work that gives other people ideas for new work. And so when students are thinking about, when students ask me for advice about how to look for mentors, one of the places where I say they might start is to start looking at the tables of contents of journals that publish work they find interesting, and over time, if you do that for a period of weeks, tables of contents followed by abstracts followed by, among the ones you seem really interested in reading the whole article, you’ll start noticing patterns with doing that for a few weeks. The kind of topics you gravitate towards, the kinds of people who do work in those areas, and in this respect, it’s kind of like an organic way of finding those people who could potentially mentor you because the authors of the articles will also often happen to be affiliated with doctoral programs you’d eventually apply to And I also agreed that there are a variety of other ways you can do it as well I know that’s not the approach I took when I applied to grad school. I asked my undergrad advisor, you know, who do you respect? Who does work in your area? And I’ll look at what they do And since she gave me a list of all these great people, and my mentor was eventually on the list that she originally gave me And then in terms of the application process and different components in them, you know, you’ll notice in a lot of these programs, they’ll ask you obviously for your transcripts and letters of recommendation and things like that, and they might also even ask you for your test records like for the Graduate Record Examination, the GRE. Now you might be noticing if you follow Twitter, there’s a hashtag now called #grexit, G-R-E- X-I-T. And there are a lot of programs where the GRE requirements are in flux. So I encourage you to, anybody is applying now, to take a look at what the current updates are with programs as to whether or not they are even asking applicants to submit these records. Some grad programs, because of the Covid-9 pandemic, are having them be optional. Other programs are saying we’ll not only do it optional this year, we’re going to drop it entirely So, you know, I would encourage you to stay current as to what the different programs you’re considering are asking of you, because it may save you some money and time. Yeah, definitely I wanted to mentioned one other way. The American Psychological Association has, I believe, 54 divisions and these are all divisions within psychology. And so if you go to the APA and you look up divisions, you can find different specialties within psychology, and you can look at those leaders and all these leaders are in various universities around the nation, and you could, some of these programs, some of these divisions have their websites that even have lists of graduate schools that focus on their particular specialty I’m involved in division 38, which is health psychology. You know, we have resources for students that are looking into going to grad school where they could find specific mentors, and so there’s a lot of these resources might just already at the tips of your finger, you just kind of go do a little digging, and the APA is a perfect place to start Thank you for sharing that, that’s awesome for them to know. And just a question in terms of, you know, differences with other programs. So what would you say for some students who are a little bit confused about what is a PhD in psychology versus clinical psychology, and then a PhD in clinical psychology versus a PsyD, and for some, is a master’s necessary? So can you comment quickly on these aspects just to clarify that for those who have questions regarding that?

So I’ll quickly, I’ll give my program that I graduated from as a quick example So, I went to the University of North Texas, and within that program they had several APA accredited programs, and even within the program they had, like, specialties So for example, there was general clinical psychology that was accredited Then, they had the program that I graduated from which is health psychology and behavioral medicine And then they had also a counseling psychology program, and within that program you could specialize in Marriage and Family Therapy or you could specialize in Sport Psychology, which they have one of the best programs in the nation, and all of these programs are APA accredited So, you know, it’s important to kind of look and see what your interests are and where these programs lie and what this particular specialty might do for you So in some counseling psychology programs, they might act similar to a general clinical psychology program where you could really have a plethora of opportunities to work, you know, academic medical centers, but some counseling psychology programs are really focused on focusing on marriage and family therapy. So you moreso work in small private practices or even housed within like a Student Health Center on campus. So I think really trying to figure out what those programs entail and where some of these people are moving their career forward. When you go to the websites of some of the graduate programs, a lot of times they’ll have listed, where are their graduates now? Where are they working? What are they doing? And so that’s a really good way to kind of distinguish, okay, well this counseling APA accredited program has most of their individuals working in academic medical centers. In this particular program, most people are working in private practice So, you know, these types of specialties can be versatile, but it’s good to see what the programs are producing and where people are going So, when thinking about the distinction between say clinical psychology and another sub-discipline of psychology like cognitive or social or behavioral neuroscience, you know, a lot of times the distinction can be just as broad as basic versus applied. So, the people in the other sub-disciplines might be mainly interested in careers focused on basic science, whether it’s in an academic setting or in a non- academic setting like in policy or things like that And then, you know, you can distinguish those kinds of programs from other programs that are within the realm, in the more applied realm, what APA will call a Health Service Program, so that includes clinical but it also includes counseling psychology, which might touch on a lot of the same kinds of issues that folks trained in clinical psychology might with some caveats So, the biggest historical distinction between say counseling and clinical is that scholars in the counseling space have traditionally focused more of their attention on the process of therapy How do you work with clients? How do clients change over time? How do you change over time when you’re delivering services? Or as, you know, a clinical psychologist, although they might very well be interested and appreciate the therapeutic process, will often dedicate their time to understanding the techniques, the actual things that the actual programs delivered in there. Now, those are historical distinctions. They’ve faded over time, and now you can see a lot of clinical psychologists whose work has a look and feel of a counseling psychologist and vice versa. And still another one are those in school psychology programs where when the training looks a lot like it might look with counseling psychology or clinical psychology with the one caveat that the thinking along service delivery and research is focused on how mental health concerns manifest in the school system and related spaces You know, a lot of variability among, but what I’ll say is that a lot of people who got their training in each of those will wind up having careers that look very similar to others, or very different. It’s a lot of variability in there Yeah, I agree there really is a lot of variability and a lot of different paths to potentially the same careers, but also similarly, folks in the same program can end up in a lot of different places, so it really just depends. So the question about a master’s degree being necessary to apply to doctoral programs. They’re not necessary If you have one, you can certainly still apply. If you don’t have one you can apply. It really just depends on the program But also to the distinction between clinical psychology PhD versus PsyD programs,

you know, certainly I would encourage folks to look at the actual curriculum requirements, look at statistics around internship application and acceptance, time to graduation, things like that Traditionally, PsyD programs have been focused more on the professional practice of psychology and less on the research, although again, there’s a lot of variability there, depending on the program There are also more likely to be sort of independent schools of professional psychology rather than necessarily housed within a larger university. But again, there’s variability there. I do think it is important for students, kind of no matter what discipline or sub-discipline of psychology you’re looking at, is to consider things like funding sources for graduate school What is your debt burden expected to look like if you’re not funding it yourself or if you didn’t have a scholarship or come in on a fellowship? That’s really critically important and it’s not something that’s often discussed on the webpages of graduate programs, but it’s something that students should be thinking about. I mean, this is a really long time commitment Potentially, it’s a substantial financial commitment as well, and while psychology has many wondrous things about it as a career, it’s not necessarily the most lucrative So it is something to think about in terms of how much debt are you willing to take on for this career? What would it look like to pay that back? And there are lots of different ways to, you know, pay that debt back But it is an important practical consideration that I think, you know, no matter what program you’re looking at, that’s something that you should be thinking about Thank you, all great advice, and I mean, we have maybe about eight minutes left so just in the current situation, right, many, we know that many internships and many experiences were canceled Do you have any ideas of what students can do now to kind of fill this gap and keep building on their resume in terms of experiences that can help them throughout this time? Well, so one of the trends that we’re seeing a lot right now is an increased use of telehealth, whether that’s by video or phone, a lot of research grants are moving towards that Clinical services certainly are moving towards that, and the good news is that potentially, individuals interested in careers in clinical psychology could still participate in some of those services. So I mentioned crisis hotlines earlier, whether by text or phone Those are still options, and we’re also seeing a really, an increased demand for those kinds of services because of the really unprecedented stress and the effects that we’re seeing from the Covid-19 pandemic This is also potentially a great time to do writing, whether it’s on paper There are still, I know, many conferences that are being hosted virtually and they’re offering virtual poster presentations They’re offering sort of virtual networking hours So, you know, in my experience from working with my grantees and just generally within the field is that folks really understand that this time is unprecedented, that we’re all doing our best and they’re really applying as much flexibility as possible They want to help students, you know, they know students are in a really challenging position and applicants are in a really challenging position, so they’re willing to work with individuals to provide as much flexibility as possible so that this time can be used productively while also taking care of themselves in their health And also I think, reach out to your current mentors. If you’re in the process of applying to graduate school, it’s likely that you’re a scholar, you’re well-connected within your program, and you might already be doing research with some of the professors. And reach out to your mentors and ask, you know, what’s going on in your lab right now? Is there anything that I can do to help? Especially during a pandemic, right? This is a very unique opportunity to train during the pandemic and whatever your mentors are doing, just reach out and say can I be involved in some way? Can I help, you know, really with anything? And I think that would be really helpful and unique to put on your graduate school application It might surprise you what opportunities are available in, even in labs that you haven’t been necessarily connected to, you know So a lot of these labs, because of the pandemic, have

taken a right turn or a 180 degree turn or a completely different turn and started working on things that they wouldn’t have anticipated working on had the pandemic never occurred, and a lot of times, as Laura mentioned, because that work is happening in the virtual space, that frees open the kinds of people embedded in different kinds of locations in the US or even outside of the US who might very well be able to help Our own lab is putting together a project in the virtual space, and you know, although we are relying mainly on volunteers who were already working with us beforehand or are already embedded on campus, you know, so long as people have the requisite training, the requisite, you know, online human subjects training and things like that, I mean, the doors are fairly open for people interested in working with labs that otherwise they might not have been able to get to work with because of geographic constraints Thank you. I think these are really great suggestions, and kind of like ease their stress and think about and plan what they can do now in these unprecedented times. Just to, now to wrap up as we come at the end of our session, knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in clinical psychology? I think being able to get some life experience I think could be really valuable going into a clinical psychology program. It’s very demanding, and you potentially graduate right out of undergrad and go straight into a PhD and that’s fine, and you might excel and do extremely well But you know, you do work with people. Clinical psychologists are experts in human behavior, and, you know, getting some more life experience under your belt might help with just appreciating the content and the knowledge that you’re learning and applying it a little bit more Our brains don’t fully develop until we’re 26, right, our frontal lobes So you still have some time to continue to develop and make decisions And so, you know, if you want to pursue a master’s degree just to explore a different topic or, you know, travel, anything, work as a postbac somewhere conducting research, anything you can do to kind of get life experience I think will help you in a clinical psychology program to try to understand what specialty you do want to focus in and where you really want your career to go. Thank you Valeria You know, I wish the earlier version of me knew how important it was to be a great storyteller. So we were talking before about synthesizing information and conveying information clearly to people And any of us who have ever sat in a talk where the speaker was just giving us facts facts facts facts, it’s really easy for our brain to turn off when you get that kind of monotony. Our brains respond to patterns, and the best patterns are stories About five years ago, I read a book that I encourage anyone to read as early in their development as they possibly can. It’s Randy Olson’s, “Houston, We Have a Narrative,” and it provides scientists concrete tools for how to overlay narrative structure on their work It’s a brilliant piece of work, and in getting practice learning how to tell stories, it has fundamentally changed everything that I do, the way I write papers, the way I write grants, the way I teach, the way I write emails, the way I ride the elevator and I pitch an idea to a colleague of mine That’s part and parcel of what it is to communicate usually really complex information to people who don’t have the privilege of your expertise And that’s how, you know, we speak to audiences. I encourage you to learn about storytelling as soon as you possibly can Thank you, Andy Those are both such great answers, and I agree with both of them. I think certainly having life experience is critical, and not being afraid to take some time off before you apply to graduate school even if it feels like I can’t take another year off You quite possibly can and that might really really make you very clear about why you want to pursue a career in clinical psychology or not You may decide otherwise and that’s fine, too I think if I could look back and give advice, I would say it’s to really keep the big picture perspective in mind and to think flexibly. You know, we’ve talked, all three of us have talked about what a versatile degree this is and how many different paths it can take us on, and I think

really appreciating that and being curious and exploring how this foundation in this training clinical psychology could prepare you for a number of different careers and really don’t be afraid to take risks and to be creative with what you might want to do, whether that’s writing a book or designing a course or starting your own private practice or pursuing a research career or joining government and really focusing on policy There’s so many different things that you can do and so many different ways that you can use this degree to help people So I would really just encourage you to be curious and to look at all the different options that you could take Thank you, this is great advice, and I want to thank you all for joining me here this morning to talk about your career and about the field and, you know, just being willing to answer all our questions Hopefully, next year we’ll see you in person at the Grad School and Professional School Fair at the NIH, but as of now, I just wanna say thank you all for joining me Thank you, thank you bye. Thank you Natasha